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“Interesting, but not worth it if you have to pay”
Review of Gladstone's Land

Gladstone's Land
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US$20.61*
and up
City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
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US$34.34*
and up
National Trust for Scotland Discover Ticket: Scotland Sightseeing Pass
Ranked #75 of 416 things to do in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: "The best address in town" - One of the oldest buildings on the Royal Mile, boasting wealthy residential and commercial tenants in its heyday - The main apartments are decorated with lavish Renaissance, hand-painted interiors with deep hidden meanings - The 1600s stone arches were erected to shelter customers, but became the ideal place for criminal activity - The grocers on the ground floor sold all the exotic spices and dried foods you would have needed to throw a banquet - 400 years ago Edinburgh’s elite purchased their imported silk, ribbons and lace in our cloth shop Just a stone’s throw from the castle, this 500 year old building is a towering testament to tenement life in Edinburgh’s Old Town and was once owned by merchant Thomas Gladstone. He extended and remodelled the building to attract wealthy tenants for his opulently decorated apartments, as well as for the high-end grocer and cloth shop on the ground floor and the tavern located in the basement. By the 1800s only the poorest of the city’s inhabitants remained in the Old Town. Gladstone’s Land was one of the first buildings the National Trust for Scotland acquired, rescuing it from demolition in 1934. A local wealthy resident, Helen Harrison, donated £1000 to help restore the building from its derelict state, in order to provide affordable homes for people of ‘little means’.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Reviewed 11 July 2014

Don't go unless you are a National Trust member - there are better sights for better value in Edinburgh.
The entrance fee is GBP 6.50 per adult, or free if you are a National Trust member.
It is interesting, but there are so few rooms - only 4 including the shop front - that it doesn't feel like you have seen much at all. There wasn't much to explore, and we felt a little let down with the information provided by some of the guides, as they didn't seem to know much about the house itself, nor the history of the family.

1  Thank PG_Cumbus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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207 - 211 of 394 reviews

Reviewed 5 July 2014

This property is not very big, but it has some variety--rooms decorated to period for the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and one for the eighteenth century. The site is quite valuable as it gives you some insight into how people lived. For example, the kitchen includes a number of kitchen tools that I have never encountered before.

Also, if you get the right guide, it can be an extremely edifying experience. Some will simply tell you what you can read for yourself on the laminated sheets, but others will offer far more. The lady whom I spoke to in the "wool shop" not only told us many things about wool-making in the sixteenth century but also spent some time with me afterwards showing me maps illustrating the growth of the city of Edinburgh over throughout the centuries. The visit was worth it just for that history lesson.

Admittedly, four small rooms may not seem like a lot for 6 pounds and 50 pence, but I found it more than worth it to see the rooms and the smaller artifacts and to talk to some knowledgeable and charming people.

1  Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2014

This is one of the better national trust properties thanks to the staff. They where very friendly, talkative and helpful. Each room there is information sheets provided by the national trust as it is supposed to be self guided. In practice the staff was keen to give you information enthusiastic and generally did not need the sheets. The map of old Edinburgh was interesting especially as you seen how it has grown. The only negative part is no photography.

1  Thank Keith96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2014

Gladstone's Land is between the castle and St. Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile. Entry is free to National Trust for Scotland and National Trust members.
The staff and volunteers were all knowledgeable and approachable. In contrast to the Georgian House which shows how the well-to-do lived this property shows how the other half lived.
Well worth a visit.

2  Thank LightAleCavalier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

I never managed to visit Gladstone's Land when I lived in Edinburgh, so thought I would take a look when I returned as a tourist.

It is a historic house located on the Royal Mile not far from the Castle. It is good to learn how the people lived and worked in this area of Edinburgh in the past. This property is preserved and run by the National Trust. The volunteer guides give a good story and the furniture and fittings inside are correct to the period.

It costs, as do all National Trust Properties, but would be worth visiting on a rainy day. It might not be worth a special trip, but can fill an hour if you are in the area.

There is very little to see if you cannot climb stairs, due to the age of the house.

2  Thank alias_Ned_Flanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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